TL;DR (summary)

1. An email list helps you reach out to customers and keep them engaged with your business.

2. Encourage people to sign up for and stay on your email list by having strong content and valuable CTA's.

Creating an email or newsletter subscriber list is an important asset to your business. Imagine you’re networking at a conference like a boss. You meet someone who seems like a great fit as a future contact. But you waited too long to ask for their business card and lose them in a crowd of people rushing to get free swag bags. It’s a lost opportunity. Now, imagine this situation and not engaging with a new customer that visits your website. If you don’t ask to keep in touch, you might lose the chance to reach out to them later. However, if you ask for their email address at the right time, you can add them to your email marketing list.

But is email marketing really worth all the effort? Let’s find out in this survey.

How to build your email list successfully

In order to send engaging emails to future prospects. You need to build an email list of current and potential customers. Buying a pre-populated email list might be tempting. But, very few consumers knowingly give a company permission to sell their email address. Think about how you feel when you get unsolicited emails from random people. You most likely hit the Trash or Spam button. Sending an email through a purchased list is a quick and easy way to ruin your sender reputation and get you blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISP’s). Renting a list on the other hand, from a reputable company is a good practice if done correctly.

Building your list organically is the best way to engage with potential customers that say, “Yes, I’d love to hear from you again”.

Pro Tip

The content of your emails is one of the most important parts of getting people to sign up and not unsubscribe. Emails are valuable when they're useful, timely, or interesting to recipients.

Getting people to sign up for your list

The best way to get people to sign up for your list is to communicate THEIR value quickly and persuasively. Think about what the benefits of receiving emails from you are and how you can put those benefits into calls of action (CTA’s). What is going to encourage sign-ups? For example: Quick! Grab this proposal guide before your competitors do. Send me the FREE e-book.

Make sure your CTA’s stay true to your brand voice and personality. Let people know that it’s okay to say no by having both a “Sign up” and a “Sign Up Later” button. Put the same amount of thought into the forms you’ll use to collect email addresses. These can be make-it-or-break-it moments for your email list.

Make it as easy as possible for people to give you your information. Instead of sending them to another page to sign up, have them enter their email on the same page as the CTA. Don’t ask for too much information. Filling out long forms seems like work, and the less likely they are to finish the form. Leave out unnecessary information and send follow up emails later to gather that intel.

Tools of the trade

Email software like Mailchimp and Constant Contact usually have form builders that you can customize and embed on your site. When someone signs up for your list through these forms they automatically get added as a subscriber, making it easier to send emails to the right people.

After you have your CTA’s and forms ready, you can put them in different sections of your website and test what works best. Try testing out adding the forms on your Hompage, product pages, and sidebars of your blog. You can also play around with the most effective times for your CTA to appear. For example: after someone finishes reading your blog post, or when they complete a purchase.

A/B testing your message

A/B testing your CTA message, location, and timing are the most effective way to see whats working and what isn’t. Try different combinations against each other to see which ones win.

Use the winners of your test to deliver the right message in the right place at the right time. A new visitor to your website may not understand your business value yet, so having your CTA appear the moment they come to your page might not be effective.

Of course, your newly thought out CTA’s can only succeed if people are engaging with your site, blogs, and social media.

Which is where Content Strategy comes into play. Read more about Content Strategy in the next chapter and build your to-do list.

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